Employment Law Blog

News, trends and analysis in employment law and HR

Showing posts by Diane Buisman

Photo of Diane Buisman
May 15 2017
Harassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Employer unlawfully discriminated against unmarried pregnant employee in Oregon

In a rare case, an unmarried teacher recently won a victory against her employer by applying Oregon’s law protecting individuals from discrimination based on marital status. The teacher worked at a Christian university, which required her to adhere to a certain moral standard. When she revealed that she was pregnant, unmarried, and living with her boyfriend, her employer gave her the options of ending her cohabitation, marrying the father of her child, or losing her job. When she declined the first two options, the university terminated her employment.

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Photo of Diane Buisman
May 10 2017
Harassment & DiscriminationWage and Hour  

Internal complaints count as whistleblowing under Oregon law

Two employees complained to their supervisors about not getting paid overtime. In a groundbreaking decision from the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, these employees were protected from retaliation under Oregon law.

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Aug 10 2016
Disability  

Anxiety disorders and the ADA: Employer wins case, despite refusing employee’s accommodation request

The federal Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) does not require an employer to grant an employee’s demand for a particular accommodation, as one employer proved in a recent case from an Oregon federal district court. The employee suffered from anxiety and claimed that she could not work with her co-worker, whose…

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Aug 04 2016
Harassment & Discrimination  

Transgender rights and issues continue to be on forefront for federal agencies

The federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) and U.S. Department of Education became the two most recent federal agencies to release guidance regarding treatment of transgender individuals. The EEOC issued a new fact sheet discussing rights of transgender employees and the U.S. Department of Education issued a letter regarding transgender…

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Photo of Diane Buisman
May 19 2016
Q&AEmployee BenefitsLeave LawsWorkers’ Comp  

Is an employee out on workers’ comp entitled to health insurance?

Q: Our employee was injured at work and he’s out on a workers’ compensation claim. Are we required to carry him on our health insurance plan since this was an on-the-job injury?

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Aug 12 2015
Harassment & DiscriminationTermination & Resignation  

Porn investigation leads to discrimination lawsuit

Demoting an employee for accessing and viewing pornographic material on his work computer should be an air-tight decision, but a recent court case demonstrates how even a seemingly justified punitive action can lead to a lawsuit.

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Apr 13 2015
Leave Laws  

DOL clarifies definition of spouse under FMLA

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) recently released a final rule that redefines who qualifies as a spouse under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). The new rule specifically says marriage is defined by state law where the marriage was entered into, including states where common law and same-sex marriages are recognized.

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Mar 27 2015
Disability  

Employer loses bid to overturn large jury verdict on ADA claim

When a jury decided to award an employee $1 million on her disability discrimination and failure to accommodate claims, it was decided her employer was to be held accountable for numerous actions. Some of the employer actions that factored into the decision were:

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Jan 27 2015
Leave Laws  

Paid sick leave is on the horizon across the nation

In his State of the Union address earlier this week, President Obama supported a trend that we’ve seen growing on the West Coast for the past several years: mandated paid sick leave for employees.

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Photo of Diane Buisman
Oct 06 2014
Wage and Hour  

CALIFORNIA: Reimbursement for Business Use of Personal Phones is a Must

Although many employees have “unlimited” minutes on their cell phone plans, employers must reimburse for the cost of a personal phone if it’s required to be used for work, as emphasized by a recent case in California. Employees of a food delivery company were required to use their personal cell phones for business, but were not reimbursed for their expenses.

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